Tuesday, October 23, 2012
GIVING GOD AN ENGLISH VOICE
William Tyndale was born circa 1494 in Gloucestershire, near the border of Wales. In 1526 he completed his first edition of his New Testament at Worms, Germany. He is also responsible for writing such great pieces as ‘The Parable of the Wicked Mammon’, ‘The Obedience of a Christian Man’, and ‘Practice of Prelates’. In 1534 he published his revised New Testament. On October 6, 1536 he was strangled and burned. Why? He was considered to be a heretic. His translating of the Scriptures into everyday English was strongly opposed by the Catholic Church, who preferred Latin, which the common man could not understand. Tyndale gave us phrases such as: ‘I am the Light of the world’, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’, ‘God is love’, ‘A thief in the night’, and ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ He gave us words such as: busybody, broken-hearted, castaway, and scapegoat. “Renowned literary critic and author Harold Bloom once said that William Tyndale is the ‘only true rival of Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Walt Whitman as the richest author in the English language.’” Tyndale’s views on penance, purgatory, the pope, and transubstantiation also were seen as a threat to the Church of the day and those in power.
Reading this book will give you a good understanding not only of who Tyndale was and what great faith drove him, but will enlighten you in regards to other historical figures such as Cardinal Wolsey, John Stokesley (bishop of London), Erasmus, Luther, King Henry VIII, Sir Thomas More, and Tyndale’s ultimate betrayer Henry Phillips.
Today we take it forgranted that we have the Bible in our common language via numerous translations and paraphrases. But this was not always so, and it came at a very great price. Many gave their very lives for their faith and the truth of God’s word being made available to all. Tyndale also took a lot of flack for his belief in justification by faith.
My only criticism of this book is that Teems jumps forwards and backwards in time here and there, which can be somewhat confusing. Other than that, he is a great writer, with good use of quotations, facts, opinions and a subtle sense of humour. This is a must read for the modern day Christian and historian. It will give you a greater appreciation for Scripture and the English language, and will help you understand what true persecution is. For more info visit www.davidteems.com or www.thomasnelson.com. I'm rating TYNDALE: THE MAN WHO GAVE GOD AN ENGLISH VOICE 84%.